Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beijing - The door to China history

Our trip to Beijing was already two weeks ago, but too much traveling and the Christmas celebrations made it hard for me to have time for my blog!
We had such a nice time in Beijing. It is so different from other cities in China, like Xiamen or Shanghai. The history from the Ming and Qing dynasties is so present there... in the historical sites of course but also in the architecture of private homes, with the traditional curved roofs we really don't see in Xiamen. Yep, we played tourists and visited all the usual places, and particularly enjoyed the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. Beijing is definitely getting ready to "receive the world" for the Olympic Games and wants to look its best. Millions are being spent to renovate the beautiful red, gold and yellow paintings of the historical sites and it is truly somptuous and grandiose. But there was one thing that made these visits even more enjoyable for me: having read the Empress Orchid book (the story of the famous Empress Ci Xi), I found myself transported back to the imperial life in the 19th century. Everywhere, in the Forbidden City, at the Ming tombs, at the Temple of Heaven, I could imagine the Emperor and the Empress being there, walking around, governing and praying... I was walking through all the places the book had taken me and reliving all their stories. A very special feeling!
I will tell you more in future postings for sure. In the meantime, I think I am getting dizzy with so much incredible traveling (what an exceptional year!). I am thinking of applying for a Guinness record for having visited the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Palais de Versailles in Paris in the same week!! Pretty crazy! LOL

3 comments:

pengyou said...

Happy new year (xin nian kuai le!!!)
I can not wait to see pictures of the "new" forbidden city.

PierreJ said...

Thanks for the interesting comments about Beijing. I've never been, though I've also read much of the Forbidden City and would love to visit it! The pictures of Beijing I've seen at our travel community endorses the fact that it is a special destination. Am looking forward to seeing some of your photos on line also.
Regards,
Pierre

Sébastien said...

The "Chateau de Versailles" is in Versailles and not in Paris. I thought you were born in France... have you already forgotten all about your heritage?